Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Total Shoulder Replacement


A total shoulder replacement is an option the Phoenix orthopedic specialist gives to a patient who has shoulder joint dysfunction. This type of shoulder problem occurs from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or an injury.

Total Shoulder Replacement 1

Usually, the orthopedic doctor in Arizona will try other modes of therapy before recommending surgery, such as medication and physical therapy. The total shoulder replacement procedure is only considered when pain and mobility issues are serious and the patient does not respond to other forms of therapy.

With a total shoulder replacement, the integrity and reconstructability of the capsule, muscles, and tendons, as well as the surgeon’s experience, all affect the surgery results. For maximum function and stability, results involve an interrelationship of humeral and glenoid versions, humeral length, rotator cuff integrity, capsular reconstruction, and appropriate abductor tension. These factors, if not preserved and present, will have to be reconstructed.

Before the Procedure

The orthopedic surgeon in Phoenix will schedule you in for a consultation visit, which will involve a physical examination and a series of x-rays. The doctor will take a detailed history of your shoulder problem, and ask you questions about the pain.

Total Shoulder Replacement 2

Total shoulder replacements are scheduled, so beforehand, you will need to make sure you have someone lined up to help you after the surgery and to drive you home. The average hospital stay for a total shoulder replacement is two to three days.

Before the surgery, discuss all medications with your doctor. He/she will have you stop medications that can thin the blood, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory agents. Expect to have a series of pre-operative tests one to two weeks before the procedure, such as blood work and an electrocardiogram.

Also, you will not be allowed to eat or drink after midnight the day before the total shoulder replacement surgery. The anesthesiologist will discuss which type of anesthesia will be given to you, and you will have an IV line to receive this and other medications.

The Procedure

Once you are in the operating room, the medical team will make you comfortable. The Arizona orthopedic surgeon will make incisions at the shoulder region. Then, he or she will replace the ends of the damaged humerus (upper arm bone) and scapula (shoulder blade) with artificial surfaces.

These surfaces are called prostheses, and they are lined with plastic and/or metal. The joint components are held in position with a special bone cement or a material that lets new bone grow to hold it without cement.

After the Surgery

You will be taken to the recovery room following the procedure. The nurses will monitor you until your vital signs are stable and you are alert and awake. Once you are stable, you may be kept overnight for pain control. Most patients are able to go home the following day.

A physical therapist will begin working with you to learn exercises to increase shoulder strength, mobility, and function. The success of your shoulder surgery depends on your participation with the therapy. At discharge, you will be given specific home instructions regarding activities, driving, and follow-up appointments.

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location